Some of the major functions of the Pentagon’s Joint Forces Command (JFCOM), which is slated to be formally shut down later this year, were parceled out to other Defense department components on Tuesday.
The Pentagon said in a press release that the reassignment of several JFCOM functions would ensure that its most critical functions and expertise were maintained within DoD. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced last August that the Pentagon would eliminate the command in an effort to streamline and flatten DoD management structures under his efficiencies initiative.
Among the former JFCOM functions being moved to new commands:
Joint Enabling Capabilities Command (JECC), which assists military commanders in quickly creating joint command structures in crisis situations. JECC’s functions will be transferred to the U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM).
The Joint Warfare Analysis Center (JWAC), which provides technical advice and analysis to the Joint Staff and combatant commanders. The U. S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) will inherit JWAC.
The Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA), which oversees and supports the military’s survival, evasion, resistance and escape (SERE) training and doctrine. JPRA will become a function of the Air Force.
The NATO School, which will transfer to the U.S. European Command (EUCOM).
The Pentagon said all of the physical moves would be completed by March 2012, although it was not immediately clear which activities would have to relocate. Of the four major functions DoD announced were moving on Tuesday, only one, JECC, is physically based in the Hampton Roads, Va. region where JFCOM’s current command headquarters is located.
JFCOM announced separately Tuesday that its Special Operations Command—Joint Forces Command (SOCJFCOM) would transfer to U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), but would remain in Suffolk, Va.
In February, Army Gen. Raymond Odierno, JFCOM’s commander, said that roughly half the command’s functions, workforce and budget would remain near its current headquarters and be organized under a two-star general or admiral reporting directly to the Joint Staff.
The JFCOM shakeup will save money—roughly $400 million per year, by DoD’s efficiency initiative estimates—but will mean thousands of job losses, primarily for contract employees. Of the 2,300 jobs the military will cut, approximately 2,000 belong to contractors.
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